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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  February 26, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PST

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>> i'll talk to tax fraud prosecutors about what the 'l manhattan d.a. is looking for now that he has physically obtained trump's tax returns. plus fixing the energy grid in the wake of texas.of my exclusive interview with the newly confirmed secretary of energy, jennifer granholm.y and as the perpetrators of trump's disgraceful family separation policy try to create a new controversy, jacob soboroff on what's really ve happening on the border when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. we start tonight with breaking news. the pentagon is confirming tonight that u.s. military forces conducted air strikes against what they say is infrastructure utilized by iranian-backed militant groups
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in eastern syria. the strike authorized by ut president biden is the first military action of this administration, and it comes in response to a series of rocket attacks on u.s. targets inside iraq. according to the pentagon, the strikes destroyed multiple facilities located at a border u control point used, they say, by a number of iranian-backed militant groups. for the latest, i want to bring in msnbc news white house correspondent mike memoli by phone.e mike, what can you tell us about what just happened? >> reporter: well, chris, this c is interesting when you consider several things we've been nt talking about a lot in the last few days. one is a call that we also learned just happened tonight between the president and the king of saudi arabia, king salman.en there was an interesting momenta at the white house today where press secretary jen psaki downplayed what seemed to be a delay in that phone call, saying there was some misreporting e about when it was taking place. but in the statement we just received from the pentagon, it was made clear that this action was taken, quote, together with
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diplomatic measures and including consultation with our coalition partners. so we also know that secretary of state tony blinken spoke with his saudi counterpart and biden has been making other calls to regional leaders in the past few days. so this suggests this was something in the works for days. it also comes as we've already begun to hear criticism of the nascent biden administration from republicans as they've made some overtures to iran about reigniting that nuclear deal. the criticism from republicans has been that there needs to be some sort of clear signal sent e to iran for their continued destabilizing actions in the region. and well, now we seem to have a response of sortswe from the bin administration in this statements asen well from the pentagon tonight they're saying that this operation sends an unambiguous message that president biden will act to protect american coalition personnel. we know of course that one of the conditions that the biden
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administration has set for renewed engagement with iran in this nuclear deal would be that any new agreement that they enter into would have to expand beyond simply their efforts to obtain a nuclear weapon and to include some of their other destabilizing actions in the region. and so as the biden administration is beginning to make its foreign policy doctrines known, an important signal tonight here about their willingness to take military action in order to back up their statements about this on the record. >> do we know what the results of the strike were? the wording from the pentagon was infrastructure, which suggests buildings, but there might have been people in them. do we know if that's the case? >> reporter: no. and this is the earliest moments of just getting this information from the white house now. clearly we would expect some additional briefings tonight om either from national security ri council officials or the pentagon. but at this point we don't have more information on that, chrish >> on that note, you said the
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sort of context of folks have not been tracking this is there has been a long-simmering and sometimes exploding essentially proxy war between the shia crescent in the middle east, particularly iran and its backing of assad in syria, hezbollah in lebanon and the sunni powers, particularly saudi arabia, which is in very, very, very, very, very much opposed te any kind of iranian encroachments, has engaged in war in yemen, and the trump administration signaled from day one they would be heavily throwing their weight behind the saudis and the gulf states pulling out of the iran deal going saudi arabia first, we're with you 100%, do whatever you want to do. the biden administration now has signaled they're going to turn the other direction. this is an interesting move in that context.wental >> reporter: absolutely, chris. i mean the term that the press p secretary jen psaki used from the podium today was recalibrating that relationship with saudi arabia.
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no one perhaps better than joe biden understands the complexities, the nuances, the pros and cons of our relationship with saudi arabia as a former vice president, as the chairman of the foreign relations traditionally we've seen saudi arabia as one of our key it partners in maintaining regional stability, but that has changed significantly. and the biden administration ha wanted to make a clear break le from trump administration's s overtures towards saudi. you mentioned it. it was highly unusual that the first foreign destination for president trump was not canada, was not mexico, was riyadh. i happened to be on that trip. we all remember that famous moment of the president, of thed saudi king and that orb as he was visiting an installation there. there was belief, especially among the biden team, many of whom served of course in the obama administration, that the trump administration threw their lot too far, especially with mohammed bin salman, now the crown prince. he was deputy crown prince at
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the beginning of the trump administration. his attaining elevation to crown prince is in some ways the result of the trump at administration's relationship, especially with jared kushner, who built a close relationship h with mohammed bin salman. and when we saw what happened, of course, with jamal khashoggi, biden during the campaign talking about saudi as a pariah state, there was obviously going to be an effort to, as jen psaki put it today, recalibrate at best. that's a very diplomatic way of putting it, this relationship. but i think what tonight's action shows and the obvious coordination, the consultations that have clearly been happening between american and saudi officials beyond just the president and the king in the last few days show there is still a degree we have to work with saudi arabia, that they need to be consulted and that their role in the region is still going to be something that's important in our foreign policy going forward. >> mike memoli, thank you so n much for joining us with breaking news. we'll bring you more information on the u.s. air strikes tonight
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in syria as we get it. turning now to the ongoing crisis here at home, it was one year ago today, a day that i will never forget, a day that a previously unknown civil servant at the centers for disease control, dr. nancy messonnier, warned that the coronavirus may cause severe disruption to our everyday life. she urged parents in this briefing to talk to their children's schools about remote learning. she said businesses should consider telecommuting options. at the time it all sounded apocalyptic. >> this is a special edition ofl "all in" as concern about the rapidly spreading coronavirus tanked stock markets for the second day in a row. today the centers for disease control and prevention warned as it's only a matter of time until the virus spreads to communities right here in the united states. the head of the cdc's national center for immunization and respiratory diseases said in a r briefing today, quote, it is not so much a question of if this will happen anymore but rather more a question of exactly when
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this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness. >> now one year later, we are where we are largely because the person in charge at the time, donald trump, was just not equipped to govern the nation in a crisis. he was equipped to host a reality tv show and attack people with his account. and so he trolled his way through a pandemic, leaving us with 500,000 americans dead, millions out of work, and arguably the worst year in american life in many generations. and yet the lesson republicans learned was not don't be like that guy. instead, no, they see donald trump as the model for ascending in republican politics. the incentives on the right are not to be an effective politician or deliver for your state or district. the incentives are to attract as much attention by being as outrageous or even cruel as possible. we saw this with texas senator ted cruz flying off to cancun last week in the middle of a cu
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major crisis in his state. millions losing power, heat and water after a series of winter storms. ted cruz thought it was a good a idea because, well, he sees hisr job as podcasting and tweeting and sharing his takes, not really governing or helping shr people. this is now a full-time endeavor for certain republican members of congresses like the now infamous congresswoman from georgia who was kicked off her committees after coming under fire for making bigoted, racist, and violent comments. the congresswoman is engaging now in a personal and gross co attack on her colleague, marie newman of illinois, following newman's wrenching emotional floor speech about her transgender daughter in support of the equality act. that legislation, the equality act, passed in the house today. it would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.di newman responded to the vitriold by placing a transgender pride flag by her office door, which just so happens to be across the hall from marjorie taylor greene's office, who then put up a taunting poster outside her door as reporter matt zeitlin noted, literally posting, like
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printing out that poster and li hanging it up on her wall because that's what she thinks being a member of congress is er all about. and it's not just her.ab senator rand paul of kentucky, once seen as someone with at least a kind of interesting, coherent ideology, lately he's been spending his days trafficking in right-wing conspiracy theories, today lobbing transphobic questions comparing gender reassignment surgery to genital mutilation at president biden's nominee for assistant secretary of health, rachel levine, who would be the first openly trans senate-confirmed there's also lauren boebert, the freshman congresswoman known for displaer gun collection during a virtual committee om meeting, who has been busy complaining about the government, quote, replacing momsqu and dads with bureaucrat and about a hasbro dropping the mr. in mr. potato head. d here's the thing, though. this is not what all republican politicians across the country are doing. t there are different factions in the republican party. there are republican governors for instance, even in blue states, like larry hogan of rean
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maryland who while definitely republicans and doing and lot o thingsan that liberals really oppose, in my mind rightly, they are at the very least engaged in the act of governing. hogan has approval ratings close to 70% in a very democratic state. but he's got no national future in the republican party. you can clearly see that divide in what's been going on with this very badly needed coronavirus relief bill, which probably will move for a vote in the house tomorrow. republican leaders in congress, mitch mcconnell and kevin mccarthy, bringing their whole kind of posters caucus together to oppose the $1.9 trillion bill while local party leaders from across the country, republicans from governor jim justice in west virginia to the mayor of oklahoma city are saying, no, they need it. their constituents need it. in fact, the mayor of oklahoma city is one of 32 republican mayors across this country who signed on to this letter to congressional leaders, urging them, quote, to take immediate action on comprehensive
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coronavirus relief legislation, including providing direct fiscal assistance to all cities, which is long overdue. the mayor of oklahoma city, to mayor david holt, joins me now. great to have you on, mayor. maybe we can start with you in telling us how your city is doing amidst this pandemic. >> well, thank you, chris. obviously we've had a similar experience to lots of other cities.d our deaths per 100,000 is a little better than the rest of the state and a lot better than the rest of the country, so that's good. but we still lost 1,000 of our residents over the last year. so that's something we mourn then obviously there's the economic fallout, and that's something that we'll probably talk about in a minute because it's not only affected our small businesses, but it's also affected our ability as a city to provide the services the people depend on.le so we've again probably had a better situation on that front than most cities, but we still lost a lot, and we're still trying to recover. >> one of the most contentious issues throughout the whole last year in previous rounds of gh coronavirus relief was some sort of federal relief for state and local governments. the mayors that you signed on to
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explicitly cited that as important in this package. what happens to your city if there is no relief, if you just got to make do and chalk it up and carry on? >> well, we're down 5% in our budget, or i should say in our revenue this fiscal year, and that has meant about 4% cuts to police and fire and about 11% cuts to all our other city departments. so it means that we can't provide services that people depend on at the level they ev expect. and we're also one of the largest employers in the city of oklahoma city.oy we have 4,800 employees, and we've had to freeze a lot of our hiring.av other cities around the united states have had to lay people off. a so i mean that's how it will pl affect us if we don't get this support.ll you know, we'll live. i mean the world will keep turning, but we're not providing the level of service that our citizens rightly expect, and we've had the opportunity through previous, you know, federal actions to support our local businesses, to support a lot of other entities, but we haven't been able to actually to support ourselves.
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we've not been able to provide ourselves relief for our revenue shortfalls and that's what we'd like to see in this package. >> there was one point when this was first being discussed, the then senate majority leader, now minority leader mitch mcconnell referred to it, many republicans did,it as a blue state bailout, that they were going to take federal tax dollars and throw it at the liberals who were up to all sorts of crazy ex-trav gantt spending. as a republican mayor of a large city, like what do you say to that? are we going to give you a blue state bailout here? >> no. i don't know a single mayor or governor for that matter who isn't down in their revenues. and oklahoma is a red state, and our revenues are down. oklahoma city is kind of a purple city, but our revenues d are down. i understand -- you know, i've heard those arguments. in my view, there are ways to address the need in the legislation. if you want to match the revenue -- you know, the support with the need, but everybody has a need. so to say that to not support
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cities at all or not to support states at all is a totally unreasonable position because whether you're a red state or a blue state, a red mayor or a bluete mayor, your revenues are down and your services are suffering as a result. may that is a fact. >> there's also vaccination money in this, and i see that some stats from your -- in oklahoma. 16% of the population has received two doses. another 8% has gotten one dose. that's -- that's not bad. would it help you to have specifically money for vaccination as supply ramps up, you're trying to get all the folks in your city? >> well, absolutely. i mean we'll put it to good use. really we need more doses more than anything. we have been very successful in oklahoma city. we'll get every dose that they send us, we'll put it in somebody's arm in seven days. so we just need more doses. if more money into that means more doses for oklahoma city, that's what we need. >> if i'm not mistaken, i think you worked on the hill at one point. you've worked in republican politics.
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i think you've worked in the george w. bush administration. when you look at the fact that republicans' congressional leadership is now against this and whipping against it, like are you having conversations with your republican senators? are you having conversations with republican congressional caucusth and being like guys, wt are we doing here? >> well, i've gotten together with a whole bunch of mayors he from the state of oklahoma, ando we've been on zooms with our senators, and they hear us. they understand the need. i should say i'm better off than most mayors, you know. back in the c.a.r.e.s. act, 35 cities got over $500,000, got direct funding, and we were one of those. we're the only city in the entire state of oklahoma who got direct funding. so everybody else really needs, it even more than we do. and we've articulated that. i understand there's a lot of ve other things in this bill and re people have to -- you know, ours representation has to look at the big picture. but i'm a one-issue voter, and if it helps oklahoma city, and this package by the way would help oklahoma city to the tune of $116 million, i'm going to fight tooth and nail for that. >> mayor david holt from
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oklahoma city. $116 million for oklahoma city. i don't live in oklahoma city, but it sounds good to me. so i support you, mayor. >> thank you, chris. >> thank you very much for making some time tonight. i really appreciate it. >> absolutely. be well. thank you. for five years, they've been out there unknown, just out of reach, like the suitcase in it "pulp fiction." but tonight trump's taxes, the o actual documents, millions of pages of records of the real things are in the hands physically of prosecutors. they're being pored over by the manhattan district attorney's ic office as we speak. to quote tpm's josh marshall today, "sure hope trump didn't do anything wrong." that's next. trump didn't do anything wrong. that's next. don't settle for silver 7 moisturizers 3 vitamins 24 hours hydration gold bond champion your skin
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even though donald trump was acquitted in his second impeachment trial by 43 senate republicans, the legal exposure tailing the disgraced former president as well as his family and associates is creeping ever closer. for starters, the manhattan district attorney now finally has trump's tax returns after the supreme court shut down trump's final attempt to keep them hidden earlier this week. investigators now have several million pages of trump's financial records in their possession, and crucially it is more than just his tax returns. as andrew weissmann, who led the prosecution of former trump campaign manager paul manafort points out, quote, the value of the mazars' documents is not in the disclosure of tax returns. that is available to law enforcement and tax authorities.
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accounting records enable a prosecutor to see how the reported tax numbers were calculated. the underlying data is key to proving criminal intent as it was in the manafort investigation. manhattan district attorney cy vance is wasting no time getting to the bottom of those records apparently. "the new york times" reported earlier this week vance has enlisted a prominent former federal prosecutor to help with the case with deep experience investigating and defending white collar and organized crime cases. that is far from the end of the trump family's legal concerns. a court filing earlier this week revealed donald trump jr. was deposed on february 11th as part of an investigation into alleged misuse of contributions for his father's 2017 inauguration. according to the filing by the d.c. attorney's general office, don junior's testimony, quote, raised further questions about the nature of an invoice related to the inauguration and revealed evidence defendants have not yet produced to the district. don junior's sister, ivanka, was deposed in the same case two months ago. and of course there's trump's
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former campaign manager turned podcast host steve bannon, who trump pardoned in his final hours in office after prosecutors allege -- and this is really key -- bannon's crowdfunding we build the wall campaign took hundreds of thousands of dollars donated and used them for personal expenses. basically they accused him of ripping off trump people. turns out bannon may not be out of the woods either. there are now reports the manhattan district attorney's office, who just got trump's financial records, has also subpoenaed financial records relating to bannon's border wall funding scheme. after decades of shady dealings, four years of corruption at the highest levels, it looks like trump and a lot of these people are in serious danger of possibly finally coming face to face with consequences. i'm joined now by two experts at prosecuting fraud and public corruption, dania perry, a former new york state deputy toernlg. former assistant u.s. attorney for the district of new york, ankush khardori, a former federal prosecutor who specialized in financial fraud and who penned the case for prosecuting trump in the new
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york review of books. ankush, let me start with you and ask if you're right now sitting in cy vance's office or you've been hired by cy vance and the van pulls up to the loading dock in the manhattan d.a.'s office and they take the boxes out, what's the plan? what are you doing? >> that's an extremely complicated question. so i mean there are a bunch of different ways you could come at this. you know, i think as andrew weissmann correctly pointed out, the work papers here are going to be really important in trying to retrace potentially where some important figures originated and how they progressed through the life cycle onto reporting. but one thing that they can do is zero in on certain types of disclosures and reporting in areas where witnesses may have already told them to look or where news reports have suggested that there may be some problems, for instance surrounding consulting fees that are being paid to family
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members. and in other areas, you may just want to begin the long and laborious process of trying to line up these documents against analogous types of representations that were being made to lenders or potential insurers. so how you come at this kind of depends on what sorts of tools you have in your arsenal. i mean if they have people who are, you know, former insiders or cooperators who are already helping them, that can be great. >> you're saying if they pointed you to places where they're representing the value of something in one place as something, you know, high for, say, investors and then when it's tax time, representing as much lower, and they've already told you that, you can look for that, and the corroboration and the worksheet around it in the documents. >> that's exactly right. but then, you know, that would only be really the start of your inquiry into that particular anomaly or discrepancy because you would want to understand exactly how those figures were calculated, who all had a hand in them, whether it's
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accountants, lawyers, auditors, what you can glean from emails, from win the interviews. you would want to speak to anyone who really had a hand in preparing the relevant figures and documents and you would want to try to test and close off any possible benign interpretations of what may have happened. and including, you know, aggressive accounting or aggressive interpretations of tax law that may not rise to the level of criminality. >> that's -- that's exactly where i wanted to go next, danya, so i'll go to you on this. my understanding is tax cases can be -- criminal tax cases can be hard to build, and the reason is that people can engage in -- they can make mistakes, or they can engage in sort of aggressive use of the tax code that doesn't cross over into criminal. what is the line? what are you looking to establish if you are a criminal prosecutor in this case, cy vance? >> you're right. it can be a fine line, and i think there's a tendency to
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oversimplify. looking from the outside in, you might think, well, let's just look. now we've got the records or the d.a.'s office has the records. let's look at the four corners of these records and let's see what they show. do they show an inflation of certain assets for certain purposes or deflation for certain purposes? you're absolutely right, chris, that you have to -- a prosecutor's going to have to show willful and intentional conduct, that you're going to have to pin on individuals. and so you've got to look outside the four corners of the documents. as ankush pointed out, you're got to look at the work papers. you've got to look at the business records. and the bestof all scenarios is you've got an insider who can actually walk you through it because it can be incredibly complex and nuanced and get you to intent. and that's really what it is here. it's criminal intent. and that is not so easy from a
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set of papers and documents. >> right. the documents -- it's hard to make intent of the documents alone is what you're saying. >> exactly right. >> ankush, there's also the question of the timeline here, which i find sort of fascinating. i mean one of the things that donald trump has done very effectively throughout his life, and i think it's true of a lot of powerful people who pay lots of money to attorneys, is just drag stuff out. longer and longer and longer. you know, you stiff some piano tuner at the taj mahal in atlantic city. and it's like yeah, maybe you can get paid in eight years if you track him down. he managed to kick the can down the road long enough to get out of the white house. lost. what kind of timeline can you imagine here with something like this given how many records, how complex it might be? >> yeah. i mean that's a great question, and i think the best we can say is that an investigation of this kind of complexity into this sort of area can take years, plural. and that's under very good
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conditions. now, the d.a.'s office has been very impressively circumspect about what sorts of things they've done already. but it looks like investigation is still in its relatively early stages, that they didn't do a lot of aggressive investigative work while trump was still in office. but so it's not entirely possible from the outside looking in to sort of assess kind of where they are in the life cycle of an investigation like this. but if it's early on, i mean it could be a long -- a long time before any kind of decisions are made one way or the other. you know, as danya correctly pointed out, you know, identifying culpable individuals with criminal intent and then trying to work yourself up the organization as high as possible, that can take a long, long time. and if this investigation really is in its relatively early stages, you know, i would be surprised if anything of any great consequence happens anytime soon. >> danya, the last question for you is just about the broader context of this.
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like what -- you know, you worked in an office that i'm sure had political conceptions, right? running around the state attorney general. you do your job apolitically, but politics exists outside. like the thinking inside that office about this. >> look, i'm sure, you know, to ankush's point, this could take a while, and i'm certain that the d.a.'s office is going to take the time that's necessary but to also do it as quickly as possible while memories are fresh, while there's, you know, interest. there's obviously a great amount of public scrutiny and public interest in this case, and so they're not going to let it get stale. they're throwing all the resources at it. they've got consulting -- an outside consulting company, and they brought in mark pomerantz, who is a very reputable inspector and former prosecutor. so they're looking to get this done. they obviously have been waiting
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for the records, and they're going to get to it as quickly as they absolutely can. >> this segment has served as an intro into why white collar criminals get away with it, and why white collar criminal prosecutors are difficult and rare. with danya perry and ankush khadori. thank you both. i appreciate it. >> thanks, chris. big news this week as america got its first look at the very first upgrade to the trusty old u.s. postal service mail truck. the first upgrade this century, and i have to say it is pretty fa-nasty? >> we appreciate everyone taking the time to share this exciting day with us. and now united states postal service is proud to present the next-generation delivery vehicle. [ applause ] >> okay. i want to say this was controversial on twitter. i love this thing. this gloriously endearing busted ass duck van is the beginning of the future of federal vehicles. now, most of these vans are gas
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powered, which not great, though they are apparently designed to be converted to run on electricity. president biden wants the entire fleet to be electric as part of his multi-pronged effort to combat the climate crisis. the person who is going to be in charge of figuring out how to move the country to a cleaner energy future as quickly as possible just got sworn in just a few hours ago. the brand-new secretary of the department of energy joins me for her very first interview on the job, next. on the job, next
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this shows how the green new deal would be a deadly deal for the united states of america. our wind and our solar got shut down, and they were collectively more than 10% of our power grid. >> if we were in the aoc world, fast forward ten years and everything is solar, everything is wind, there are countless lives that could be lost with this type of reckless adhering to a philosophy that quite frankly is
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not scientific. >> while politicians in texas were lying about their energy woes, it was not chiefly caused by renewables, it was natural gas mostly, exposed by this month's massive winter storm and blaming them on the green new deal in a state that still gets the majority of its energy from gas and coal, new york congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez was busy volunteering on the ground in texas, raising $5 million in relief efforts. she also took time out to explain why a state like texas will need a massive investment in renewable energy to help them weather the next storm. >> it is sad, but this is part of our new normal as a country, and we're going to have to really get really good at responding to these disasters swiftly and effectively and also making the infrastructure investments necessary to prevent these kind of catastrophic chain impacts from happening again. and frankly, you know, that is what the green new deal is all about.
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>> this is an enormous area for potential growth and win/win solutions for the u.s. it will upgrade the energy grid, make it more efficient. the person who will oversee a lot of that were it to happen whether through legislation or through executive actions for the biden administration is new energy secretary jennifer granholm, who was confirmed today by an overwhelming bipartisan vote. energy secretary jennifer granholm joins me now. madam secretary, it's good to have you on the program. congratulations on your new position. >> thanks. >> when you got the first message saying, i don't know, you're being vetted for energy secretary, i don't know how the communication went down, why energy secretary? why did you want this job? >> well, first of all, chris, for me as the former governor of michigan, the place where the automobile was built, i am all about bringing clean energy jobs especially to communities that
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have relied, as michigan has for so long, on a product that is based on oil and gas, like the car, the internal combustion engine. and because of what i did in michigan, what we did in michigan to diversify within the auto industry and outside the auto industry, it was a way to bring jobs, good-paying jobs to our state. and if we can do it in michigan, certainly the state can be -- before covid, there were about 126,000 people in michigan working in the clean energy industry. i am totally obsessed about how to create good-paying jobs in america, and this is the most -- this is the biggest opportunity for us. in fact, the president, you may have noted, had a supply chain meeting yesterday with a bipartisan group of senators in the white house. and honestly if we can bring the supply chains for all of these clean energy products to the united states instead of letting our economic competitors eat us for lunch, the jobs that could be created for us in the u.s., good-paying jobs are boundless. so that's why for me, this was
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the job of a lifetime really. >> the rhetoric on this, as i'm sure you've heard, right, is always about two things. one, that clean energy is unreliable, which is what was trotted out in the wake of the texas disaster despite the fact that you had nuclear plants go down, you had coal and natural gas go down. and also that it will kill jobs. that this is all zero-sum, and they're going to take away your jobs. you know, i wonder how much traction you think those arguments have right now. >> well, i think that some want those arguments to have traction, but really it is not politics that is causing us to move to clean energy and seize that opportunity. it's really the market. these companies and countries across the globe are deciding that it is too much for us to see a planet that is -- that has so many horrible climate events, and texas is one example of that, but california's
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wildfires -- i mean we can go down the litany. you know the story. so the bottom line is these fossil fuel industries, unfortunately for those working in them, are seeing a challenge from their market perspective. so the great thing about the department of energy is we are the solutions place. the laboratories -- there are 17 national labs, and they are working on solutions to decarbonize fossil fuel, to make sure we have the opportunity to have baseline fuel that does not pollute, that does not spew carbon emissions. our goal in the biden administration is to get to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and that's exactly what we're going to do, adding new clean energy to the grid as well as decarbonizing the fuel that we have. >> the point you just made about the labs, whenever you study the org chart of different departments, you find different weird things in different places. but a big part of the energy department are these labs. it runs -- outside of the
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pentagon, probably the biggest research operation in the u.s. government. >> huge. yeah, and you should come and do a show at one of the labs where we can look at some of the cool technologies that they are in the process of not just discovering, but now our department of energy because a lot of these technologies need to be deployed, our focus is going to be both on discovery but also deployment. we've got to add as a nation a huge amount of clean energy to the grid, especially if we're going to electrify, for example, the transportation system, especially as more technology comes online and you've got to have more energy being put on the grid. so we've got to upgrade the grid. we've got to add new energy, new clean energy. we've got to add gigawatts to the grid, so the department of energy is also going to be in the business of deployment. >> final question for you on the department of energy. a huge part of the department of energy portfolio is nuclear safety and the nuclear program. i don't know. i mean are you just doing like a ton of briefings on nuclear? >> yeah. >> i'm serious.
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it seems like that would be an interesting learning curve. there's a lot of really technical stuff under your portfolio now. >> totally. totally. and, you know, i'm not a nuclear physicist. one of my predecessors -- a couple of my predecessors were physicists like that. but i fortunately will have experts who are nuclear physicists and nuclear scientists in the realm. but, yeah, i mean people don't realize that the department of energy does both the security of the nuclear weapons system in the united states as well as nuclear energy and the research that's going on there, especially like with small modular nuclear systems, et cetera. so yeah, on the nuclear side it is a wonderful learning curve for me. but fortunately there are so many experts inside the department who've got this down. >> energy secretary jennifer granholm, former governor of michigan. i'm envious. it seems like a difficult but -- >> isn't it great?
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>> it seems like a fun job. i mean hard but -- >> it is. and chris, chris, just one more thing about this. is that the biden administration wants to put 40% of the benefits of the investments in this clean energy economy, which you're going to see in the jobs package next go-round, into communities that have been -- suffered from environmental pollution and also been hurt by the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, away from fossil fuels, benefit from investments in hopefully clean energy. so that commitment by this administration to invest in these communities is also going to be a big part of our portfolio that i'm very excited about. >> all right. energy secretary jennifer granholm, thank you so much for giving us your first interview. come back again. we just hit a pretty significant milestone in the coronavirus fight. 50 million vaccine shots in american arms. the biden administration marked the occasion by inviting an elementary school counselor, a grocery store worker, two firefighter emts to get their vaccinations at the eisenhower executive building and the president talked about his hopes
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for a ramped-up vaccine effort. >> as hard as it is now to believe, we're going to hit a phase in this effort, maybe as late as april or may, where many predict that instead of long lines of people waiting to get a shot, we'll face a very different scenario. we'll have the vaccine waiting. we'll have ramped-up vaccine supplies. >> the white house is well ahead of its target of 100 million shots in 100 days. they said that on the campaign trail. they said it in the transition. they said it in the white house. but as we've noted here, that target itself just is not ambitious enough. last week's massive storm across the middle of the country pushed the vaccination rate down. understandably. you had the entire state of texas without power. we had been vaccinating 1.7 million per day last week, rolling average. it's 1.3 million this week. that's not good. but there's reason to be hopeful. that weather pattern is gone, and ups says it expects vaccine distribution to jump by 40% next
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week. 40%. it could climb even higher if we add a new vaccine such as johnson & johnson's vaccine. that too is looking very good as documents released by the fda on wednesday show the agency deems the johnson & johnson vaccine safe and effective. and by this time tomorrow approval could be a reality. vaccine advisory committee is meeting all day friday to debate on emergency use for that single-shot johnson & johnson vaccine. could be a game-changer. so think about it. less than 24 hours from now, we could have three approved vaccines. that could mean a faster return to normal. just this past monday, i spoke with dr. syra madad from the new york city health system about the kind of vaccine optimism scientists are starting to feel. it's optimism we should all frankly be feeling. as the president noted today, we are not out of the woods yet. >> i want to make something really very clear. this is not a time to relax.
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we must keep washing our hands, stay socially distanced, and for god's sake, for god's sake, wear a mask. some of our progress in this fight is because so many americans are stepping up and doing those things. the worst thing we could do now is let our guard down. >> he's right. we can turn this pandemic around only if we keep it together, if we do what we failed to do before. look at this chart. that's a chart of coronavirus deaths particularly in long-term care facilities. that's the red line, okay? look at that red line. see the inflection point? see where it starts to drop? just after vaccines begin rolling out. look at that. this is a turnaround that could be in all of our futures, okay? so let's avoid a fourth wave. please. just hold on. hold on. just continue adhering to public health advice. socially distance, wear a mask. don't be indoors with a bunch of
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trump administration's immigration policy is one of the greatest moral stains of recent american history. no aspect was crueler than the explicit decision to systematically separate migrant parents from their children, rendering them unaccompanied. before a judge halted the program in 2018 at least 2,654 immigrant children were separated from their parents or caregivers as a result of the trump administration policies according to government data. nbc news reports lawyers working with the biden administration have found the parents of 105 separated migrant children in the past month. the parents of 506 separated migrant children still haven't been found. president biden has moved to end numerous trump immigration policies, moved to preserve and fortify the daca program, protecting people brought to the
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u.s. as children from deportation. but he's also received intense criticism recently for reopening a migrant facility for children in cariso springs, texas which can hold up to 700 children ages 13 to 17. congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez tweeting this is not okay, never has been okay, never will be okay no matter the administration or party. meanwhile, the architect of some of the administration's cruelest policies, stephen miller, is trying to salvage his tattered reputation by claiming it's actually the biden administration that is pushing monstrous immigration policies. >> laura, what we are seeing here is the cruelty and inhumanity of joe biden's immigration policies. he took a secure border, a humane border, a safe border, and he's turned it into this. >> he oversaw the kidnapping of children. that man. it's an audacious attempt at gaslighting by a man who pushed policies that brought misery and pain to so many people seeking a better life for themselves and their families. it's important to understand exactly what is going on here.
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here to help us do that i'm joined by msnbc correspondent jacob soboroff, author of "separated inside: an american tragedy." jacob, let's start with this facility because i think one of the things that has gotten confused or gets confused in this is the difference between accompanied minors and unaccompanied minors. there's a whole population of teenagers mostly who show up at the border with no parent, and is that the population this facility is for? >> that's right. and you know what, chris? i'm glad to be talking about this with you. because i first learned about this on the night of june 13th, 2018, the night i joined you for about 7 1/2 minutes after coming out of one of the permanent o.r.r. facilities in brownsville, texas, casa padre. that was the former walmart shelter. 150,000 square feet, 1500 boys in there, 22 hours a day from 10 to 17 years old. that facility, the guy who ran it, juan sanchez, said to me that night because of the separation policy things are going to get so overcrowd here,
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what you are going to see soon is unlicensed facilities popping up on federal government property and that was when -- i think days before we got the announcement of the tornillo facility that everybody found uniquely reprehensible down on the border. but we should be clear these are not the border patrol facilities, it's it's not the very specific central processing station in mcallen, texas where children were kept in cages, which i saw with my own eyes, and i think there's a little confusion about that now. >> just so folks are clear we're talking about the population of children that show up at the border seeking asylum unaccompanied. they are processed through i.c.e., usually in really bad conditions. they're not supposed to be held more than 72 hours. often they are. they're then transferred. and are supposed to be placed with health and human services shelters through what you call o.r.r., right? why are those shelters not -- why do they not have the capacity such that they feel the need to open this new temporary 700-kid facility in tents? >> great question and the answer was different during the trump
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administration than it is during the biden administration. during the trump administration the answer was it was a manmade disaster because, as you said, children were rendered unaccompanied when they were stolen away from their parents that created this overcrowding condition not only in the border patrol stations but also in the permanent health and human services shelters, which is where by law children are going so that they are not trafficked as has happened during previous administrations, during the obama administration. the reason why the temporary influx shelters are being opened today is several reasons. number one, there's always an uptick around this time during presidential transitions of people arriving at the southwest border. that includes children. they were preparing for this before the biden administration came in. number two, hhs tells us the weather. you couldn't discharge children in texas fast enough because of the weather over the course of the last couple weeks in the texas area. number three and perhaps most importantly, because of covid protocols capacity at the permanent shelters is down.
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and so you know, i want to be clear. do bad things happen in o.r.r. facilities? of course they do. there's a lot of reporting. aro bogato has done an incredible amount of reporting on this and i recommend everyone go check out the reporting and research she's done. but there are oversight mechanisms for that. the reason i think there is unique disdain for the idea these facilities are being brought back into service is because they don't have the oversight mechanisms that the rest of the system does. but that is the best worst option at this point for these children until they're discharged to sponsors. >> right. just to be clear, those o.r.r. facilities are all around the country. we saw them around the country. and they're run often by local nonprofits. they are licensed. there's some sort of inspection. as you said, aro bogato who's been an incredible reporter on this, has found some unbelievably egregious practices in some but there is an accountability system. the reason immigration advocates don't like, this they didn't like it under trump and they don't like it now, is these
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don't have the same infrastructure or oversight. you've got people watching kids, you need oversight, you erect a tent area on federal property and you don't have that same accountability infrastructure. >> and i think there is a lot of callback to the trump administration where not only the homestead shelter in south florida was overflowing. we saw the democratic candidates go there in the summer of 2019 during the debates, but also that is the private company that operates homestead that john kelly, the former dhs secretary and chief of staff, was working for and being paid by after having participated in the early days of the family separation crisis. i think that everybody wants to see them move away from these types of facilities. at this point there is not another option until the biden administration either decides to take a pass at the tdp rachlt, the trafficking protections act that governs some of this before a settlement agreement. the list goes on and on. it is very early in the administration and they have not yet said if they're going to chart a new course way from these types of facilities. >> yeah. and i guess the big question is
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we have had essentially the border frozen for a year by the trump administration using essentially covid as both reason and excuse. at some point that's going to end. there's a whole bunch of different complicated pieces they're going to have to undo with that. but we're going to see what that brings. there are a whole host of new challenges that will present themselves when that happens. jacob soboroff doing great reporting on this for years now, thank you for being with me. i appreciate it. >> thanks, chris. >> all right. that is "all in" on this thursday night. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening, rachel. >> admit it, chris, you would rather do this than tweet for a living. >> it was a joke. i joked about tweeting for a living and you said, chris, i would never leave you, compadre. i don't know. can you tweet for a living? what do you do for a living? that would be weird. i tweet mostly. people pay me for my tweets. >> no. don't even joke about such things, chris. i felt my life pass me before my eyes. >> no, never.
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>> thank you, my friend. i'll take that as a promise and hold you to it. all right. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. we're happy to have you. for the first time since he was inaugurated president joe biden tonight has ordered a u.s. military strike. the pentagon says the president ordered air strikes in syria at around 6:00 p.m. eastern time this evening. this is the statement that we got announcing the air strike from pentagon press secretary john kirby. he said, quote, at president biden's direction, u.s. military forces earlier this evening conducted air strikes against infrastructure utilized by iranian-backed militant groups in eastern syria. these strikes were authorized in response to recent attacks against american and coalition personnel in iraq and to ongoing threats to those personnel, specifically, the strikes destroyed multiple facilities located at a border control point used by a number of iranian-backed militant groups. this proportionate military response was conducted